When we make a life decision that goes against the grain, we answer to that decision. When we decided to transition our children from standard to minimalist shoes, we knew that we would have to answer questions. We expected it; we were prepared for it. So when our three oldest joined the track team, we were certainly not surprised by the reactions of many of their teammates (and some of the parents).

Those are really CREEPY shoes.
I would never wear something like that.
Why do you wear those weird shoes?
I understand the whole wanting to be one with the earth thing, but I worry about injury.
Do you actually like running in those?
Are you sure it’s safe to run in those?

We heard these comments throughout the season from various teammates and parents, and our children reacted just as we expected (these were great teachable moments). They took each comment and question without offense; responding with grace and confidence. Generally, we found the comments quite humorous, and now we often ask our oldest, “are you wearing your Vivos today or your creepy shoes?” They had a great season and made some new friends despite their odd shoes (and none of them were injured).

So next time you wrap you little one’s toes in some “creepy” minimalist shoes, just think: you are not just protecting their feet, you are also teaching them to be a confident individual who embraces the importance of health and uniqueness. While we give our children’s feet the freedom to grow stronger; we are also giving them another opportunity to become stronger individuals.